Who knows three?
The three lights on the Menorah elicit the association to the three Patriarchs of our spiritual history-Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
They represent the pillars of our past, upon whose presence , memory and unique spiritual attributes we stand and to whom we remain indebted and thus are able to continue our tradition on the firm foundation of these forefathers.
The merit of ancestors that we draw upon in prayer and bolster our own sense of spiritual worthiness is a powerful reason for feeling grateful as we kindle the three “patriarchal” lights.
Not only do we share in a contemporary community whose minimum number is two, suggested by last night's candle lighting, but we are also an integral component of a vertical community that stretches back to the beginning of Jewish time.
We are never alone if we link ourselves to the past, connecting ourselves to the chain of a cherished Jewish heritage and tradition.
As we light our candles or the wicks swimming in olive oil, we quietly thank Abraham for his hospitality, compassion and courage, Isaac for his reverence for the Divine and Jacob for his sacred struggles and his ability to find God even when shrouded in the lonely darkness of encountering the mystery of the unknown and the unexpected.